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Is Car Theft Covered by Insurance?

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), around 700,000 vehicles are stolen in the United States each year; of those, just over half are recovered. Stolen cars are often dismantled for parts or used by thieves to commit other crimes. Having the appropriate car insurance such as comprehensive coverage can help with such an unfortunate situation. If you have comprehensive coverage on your policy this will help you in the following ways:
  • Cover the cost of a new car if your car is stolen
  • Replace certain parts that are taken
  • Repair damage to your car from the theft or break-in

When it comes to auto theft, there is no better way to gain peace of mind than to maintain adequate coverage. It’s important to learn what your auto insurance policy covers when it comes to car theft.

Vehicle Theft Prevention Tips

Silver car model and key fob
Having your car stolen may not be something you worry about until it happens. If you have experienced this before, you know how it feels to have your privacy and security violated. Thieves have gotten increasingly savvy using smart keys to steal cars and switching vehicle identification numbers to avoid detection. In spite of this, you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of car theft by securing your vehicle.
Lock Your Doors: Keeping your doors locked is the first step in deterring thieves from getting into your vehicle. It’s important to get into the habit of locking your doors every
time you step away from your car, even if it's only for a few minutes.
Remove Your Keys from the Vehicle: The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB)
advises to never leave your keys in the ignition. If your key is in the car, a thief can
simply break a window and drive off. We caution against leaving your car running, even
if you’re in your own driveway. A running car is an easy target for thieves, especially if it's left unattended or unlocked.
Do Not Leave a Spare Key Near Your Vehicle: The National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) suggests you should always take your keys with you when you leave your vehicle. Some individuals keep a spare key under the car or in the glove box, just in
case they get locked out; however, thieves know where to look for an extra key. Getting locked
out of your car is not ideal, but the potential risk of your vehicle getting stolen is far worse.
Close the Windows: If your vehicle has an open window a thief is able to reach into
your car through the opening and take anything within reach. No matter which window is left open, they can unlock the door and gain full access to your vehicle.
Park in Well-Lit Areas: Avoid parking in areas that are poorly lit or places that are not immediately seen by traffic. We recommend to park under a light and in a well-trafficked
area, as thieves may be discouraged if they see they can be easily spotted.
Install an Audible Alarm System and Anti-Theft Device: If your car is not equipped
with an audible alarm system, we recommend installing one. An audible alarm will alert if
someone attempts to enter the vehicle while the system is on. These warning devices draw unwanted attention by the noise and can scare off a potential thief.
Install a Tracking Device: Another layer of protection is a tracking device that emits a
signal to a monitoring station when the vehicle is reported stolen. Such devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles.
Always be aware of your surroundings when you park your car. If you’re unsure of the safety of your car or see the individual loitering in the parking lot, it’s best to park somewhere else. Always double-check that your windows and doors are closed before leaving your vehicle unattended.

What To Do If Your Car Is Stolen

Blond lady has question marks above her head
After you’ve taken the time to make sure your vehicle wasn’t towed or that you simply forgot where you parked, call the police. They will want to know where your car was stolen from and when you saw it last. You will need to provide the following information to the police:
  • The year, make, model, and color of the vehicle
  • License plate number
  • Vehicle Identification Number (also called the VIN)
  • If your car has a GPS or tracking system they will also want to collect such information so they can begin to track your vehicle immediately

Once you have filed a police report, the next step is to contact your car insurance company to report your car as stolen. We recommend you submit the claim within 24 hours of the theft. It is important that everything in your claim is consistent and truthful. Your insurance company will launch an investigation and any inconsistencies between your police report and auto insurance claim can be a red flag, even if it was unintentional.
If the stolen vehicle is financed or leased, report the theft to those respective companies. You should continue to pay your insurance and car bills until the case is resolved; because you have to remember that theft does not affect what your bank is owed. Typically, lenders require you to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage. Your obligation to the financial institution ends only when the loan is repaid, whether you have a car in the driveway or not. A helpful tip can be to have your financing or leasing company contact your insurance company directly, so the claims process can move quickly.

What to Do If Your Car Is Recovered

Mechanic and hs customer check the car
If you are lucky enough to have a car recovered you will want to check and see if any of your personal property is missing. Comprehensive coverage will not cover stolen property that was not part of the actual vehicle. Things such as your phone or laptop are not included if they went missing when your car was stolen. Next, you should have the car inspected by a claims adjuster to determine any other damage it may have sustained while it was out of your possession. Any repairs needed will be covered with comprehensive coverage minus your deductible.
Insurers typically have a waiting period of about 30 days before accepting a total loss on a stolen vehicle. Once a final decision has been reached, you will receive a payment reflecting the value of your vehicle minus the deductible, as well as a determined depreciation amount. If the vehicle was financed or leased, the amount will be paid to the appropriate financial institution.

Preparation Is Key

Realizing your car has been stolen can be an emotional shock. Not only is car theft inconvenient, but your security has been compromised. By having the appropriate coverage you can be rest assured that the situation may be less of a headache. A stolen car is definitely never part of your plan, but if it happens and it’s crucial to be prepared.

If you want to ensure you have the protection you need. Learn about our comprehensive insurance plans and get a FREE, no- obligation quote on our website. If you want to speak with someone directly, you can always call an A Abana agent at 888-449-0174 who will be happy to assist you with any questions or concerns.